Friday, March 14, 2014

Radio Daze (Revisited) Volume 2 by Hambonian Entertainment

Another outstanding volume in what we hope will be a continued series of Radio Daze-inspired posts from Dirk.  This playlist is equal parts Westcoast/AOR and soul ballads.  Dirk provides the mix, I provide the inane commentary.

  • Rock with You - Michael Jackson, Pop #1, AC #21, R&B #1. Typical Quincy Jones/MJ sweetness. In 8th grade, I had a crush on a brunette that loved this song so of course I had to love it as well.  Don't know what happened to the girl, but I still like the song.
  • Better Love Next Time - Dr. Hook, Pop #12, AC #3, Country #91.  A country-tinged song atop a slow disco groove, complete with disco strings.  And I'll be damned if it doesn't work, particularly the turn around on the chorus when the horn section kicks in.
  • Cruisin' - Smokey Robinson, Pop #4, AC #34, R&B #4. So smooth, so soulful, so good. As disco began to fade away, we were treated to quite a few soul ballads in the early '70s tradition.  This might be the best of them.  Maybe Smokey's strongest vocal ever?
  • Déjà Vu - Dionne Warwick, Pop #15, AC #1, R&B #25.  So let me get this straight: Isaac Hayes wrote it, Barry Manilow produced it, and it won a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance? Works for me.  Yet another smooth, soulful ballad.
  • This is It - Kenny Loggins, Pop #11, AC #17, R&B #19.  A beautiful, uplifting yacht rock classic.  Loggins gets more than a little help from Michael McDonald.
  • Let Me Go, Love - Nicolette Larson, Pop #35, AC #9, R&B #96.  More Michael McDonald polished goodness.  I don't remember this one from the radio of my youth, which is a shame.  Produced by Ted Templeman; maybe this album is worth a listen?
  • Wonderland - Commodores, Pop #25, AC #43, R&B #21.  Another early seventies-ish soul ballad, expertly handled by Lionel Richie.  At a slower tempo and with a little less funk at the end, this might have been a junior high slow dance standard.
  • 99 - Toto, Pop #26, AC #19.  I remember liking this smooth soft rock blend of R&B and pop as a kid and would sing along although I had no idea what the song was about (still don't, not that it matters a bit).  Great keyboard work throughout by the song's writer, David Paich.  It brings back memories of a school field trip to Colorado during spring break of my 8th grade year.  Good times.  Dirk has treated us with the long version in his mix. 
  • Give It All You Got - Chuck Mangione, Pop #18, AC #1, R&B #32. Talking about riding some coattails: this piece isn't nearly as good as Mangione's earlier single, Feels So Good.  Bad melody, poor phrasing, unimaginative solos, but at least it's got a funk-lite groove underneath that holds it all together.  Of course, none of this mattered to me at the time - I ran right out and bought the album immediately upon release and wore out the grooves.
  • Too Hot - Kool & the Gang, Pop #5, AC #11, Dance #5, R&B #3. Always liked this one; it fits perfectly within my vocal range which meant that unsuspecting ladies were often subjected to this song as a part of my failed, feeble attempts at flirting.  Maybe I shouldn't have given the ladies the classic finger point/wink/tongue click while I was singing to them.  You remember that move:
  • Special Lady - Ray, Goodman & Brown, Pop #5, AC #17, R&B # 1.  A soulful favorite.  Bought the 45.  Can sing all the different parts.  Love the a cappella part at the end.  Maybe this is what I should have been singing to the ladies (sans finger point).  It deserves a close listen as there's a lot of good stuff going on in the arrangement.
  • I Can't Tell You Why - The Eagles, Pop #8, AC #3.  The Eagles best ballad, maybe because it sounds more like Hall & Oates.

Once again, Dirk has provided us with a playlist I heartily endorse.

The Radio Daze series of posts:

Original Rhino series reviewed at The CD Project
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5

Radio Daze Revisited by Hambonian Entertainment
Volume 1

Herc's Hideaway series
Volume ½Volume 11
Volume 6Volume 12
Volume 7Volume
Volume 8Volume 14
Volume 9Volume 15
Volume 10


  1. Although the soft kid neglected to mention the timeframe of the songs in the body of his post (he casuallly does so in the Labels), HERC can assure you as the virtual music supervisor of this project that the music is from late 1979 and early 1980 aka HERC's eighth grade year. These tunes were school dance slow jams as well as dim-all-the-lights couples skate songs and that's exactly where HERC's mind when he listened to this mix.

    As a member of the mixed choir and our school's award-winning barbershop quartet, the Bulldog Barbers, HERC could sing he just chose not to when he wasn't performing. His most effective move with the ladies of eighth grade was the intense stare/lookaway when our eyes met. Worked every time. Saved his fingers and tongue for later activities - had the leprous hickies and numerous second base "hits" to show for it though he never thought about trying to steal third until his freshman year. We'll begin that journey with the Dirkster's next mix...

  2. No need to "hope" for more volumes, my friends... If Dirk decreed a monthly "Radio Daze" output, rest assured, you can book it!
    Incidentally, full track-listings and complete Billboard chart info are visible on the website, if not on the Mixcloud app...
    Thanks again for listening!